Although many players stepped up for the Tar Heels (7-7, 4-1 ACC) against the Wolfpack (12-5, 1-4 ACC), McPherson stood out early on.
McPherson came to the game ready to fight, and it showed. She compiled five kills and three blocks in the first-set win.
“Every time I get the opportunity to help the team, I want to utilize that and really capitalize on that,” she said.
Her performance carried over to the second set, where she tallied six more kills and one additional block, as UNC proceeded to take a 2-0 lead.
During the match, there were 25 total ties and 13 lead changes. But McPherson’s consistent presence in blocks and kills kept the battle a competitive one before the Tar Heels were able to break away from the Wolfpack at the end of each set.
“Vic’s always amazing,” said senior middle hitter Paige Neuenfeldt.
“I expected her to come up every night and do what she does best. She’s phenomenal, and she really brings a lot to this team.”
With the Tar Heels knotted in a 20-20 tie in the decisive third set, the team once again turned to McPherson.
With a block and two kills, including her match-sealing point, UNC rode the senior to victory — their 35th against N.C. State in the two squads’ past 37 meetings.
McPherson noted the one key factor in the Tar Heels’ performance was their effective communication. Players frequently talked to one another when setting up the ball in order to exploit holes in the Wolfpack defense.
Perhaps no player took advantage of these opportunities more so than McPherson. Her 15 kills were the most by any player for either team, and she recorded seven blocks in the match.
Through 14 matches this season, she has averaged 1.60 blocks per set.
But despite all of McPherson’s accomplishments in Wednesday’s match, the final point stuck out the most.
“That last kill she had was a world-class swing,” Sagula said. “She usually a bit more calm, but she wanted that ball. I was so proud that she got it and that she put it away.”